As the great Labyrinth of Dogramag reconstructs itself into a different layout, the positioning of various characters shift itself. Allies are separated and reunited, and at the same time encounters with antagonistic forces begins to arise. Natsu runs into Suzaku, Lucy drops in on Kiria and Erza’s team meets Misaki. Almost as soon as they meet, Misaki is attacking Fairy Tail with Erza being the subject of her offense. Intending to kill Erza, Misaki fails at that but succeeds in shattering Erza’s armor and hair. The hair Erza had come to care greatly for ever since Jellal got a pardon from Queen Hisui. Erza’s feelings for Jellal have been attached to her hair so having it torn apart like that is an act that won’t be brushed aside so easily. Erza is mad and burning to unleash.
Natsu meeting Suzaku creates a very curious development especially after the recent events that transpired between the Selene and Diabolos. Suzaku isn’t wholeheartedly following Selene and if he had his way, he would rather see her gone from Diabolos. This lack of drive supporting him in regards to fulfilling Selene’s orders could be the avenue in which Natsu is able to use to make an ally out of Suzaku. Based on their previous interactions, the two had great chemistry and if not the positions of their opposing guilds, the would not have been fallout in Elentear. I anticipate that Natsu will fight with Suzaku but eventually he will come to understand the specifics of what is going on within Diabolos. Considering Natsu has been beaten by Suzaku once before, I don’t see the same outcome repeating itself. Natsu would have realised his failing and trained to remedy that weakness. For this encounter with Suzaku, Natsu is ready.
Lucy meeting Kiria is a very curious development but one which makes the rest of the match-ups in this arc clearer (Skullion and Madmole will return to the battle). Lucy understands Kiria’s personality and capabilities and may end up also learning about Selene’s role in Diabolos through Kiria. Like with Suzaku, Kiria isn’t too pleased about Selene being the new Guild Master. I suspect Kiria remains with Diabolos out of responsibility, respect and relations. Kiria’s relationship with Misaki will become a focal point in characterizing her further. The two are close with Kiria holding immense respect and love for Misaki – Kiria considers Misaki her nee-san and Misaki sees Kiria as her protegee. As Misaki and Kiria’s fights progress, I expect their stories to unravel as well. The elitist persona Kiria has always seemed like a front to me and that may be the case given Misaki’s personality. The mask Kiria is currently wearing could be one reflecting what she loves about Misaki – someone confident, powerful and unquestioned. Hopefully Misaki and Kiria’s personalities are highlighted through their fights as they find themselves challenged by the Fairy Tail mages.
Misaki’s unknown power is very fascinating but I suspect it could be something similar to Gildarts’s Crush. During the dialog Misaki exchanged with Erza, she did focus on the word tear so that could be the type of magic Misaki uses – some form of tear or shatter magic. This would explain how Misaki is able to tear/shatter things apart with her magic. Misaki being able to cast her ability from range does leave melee characters like Erza at a disadvantage but it was curious to see Misaki’s magic only partially affecting Erza. Does Misaki’s magic have to do with sight or illusions or is Erza just reducing the damage to such an extent because her magic power and resistance is that high? May it even have something to do with Erza being part dragon? Could such a biological structure cause her to passively reduce the dragon magic Misaki is casting? However it is happening, Misaki’s magic is partially being resisted by Erza which will factor into Misaki’s eventual defeat. Another factor will be Erza’s enchanted blade, Belserion. With that blade, Erza will have a weapon to use against Misaki.
Currently, Gray and Gajeel are on the sideline but if Skullion and Madmole were to recover and return to the battlefield, they could serve as Gray and Gajeel’s opponents respectively. Gajeel will have a battle to feature in this arc and unless it is against Dogramag when he awakens, he will likely face a Diabolos mage. Gray and Skullion do have a history so it would be appropriate to see their conflict continue. Laxus and Kirin being separated was interesting but I don’t see Kirin being defeated by anyone else besides Laxus. After some analyse on the battle, Laxus could have ideas to test the next time he meets Kirin.
Selene being mystified by the Labyrinth’s appearance is quite curious. Even she doesn’t know everything about the Labyrinth Dogramag created. She may not have realised it was a living Labyrinth but once the shift happened, she could be suspecting that Dogramag is the Labyrinth at this point. I love Selene’s reaction to Natsu and Lucy returning to the battlefield, rather than be mad or irritated, so was deeply amused and objectively stated “Diabolos…how shameful of you”. You wouldn’t think Selene was the Guild Master of Diabolos from that reaction. When it comes to Selene more than serving the antagonist, she is just a character who enjoys being entertained regardless of whether that entertainment comes at the defeat of Diabolos or the misery of others. Her fair and impartial judging of this game should convey just how unique of a character she has become in the story. Very much looking forward to the next chapter.